Britain calls time on the EU


Britain calls time on nearly half a century of European Union membership this week, striking out alone at a historic movement that has bitterly divided the nation.

In 11:00 pm (2300 GMT) on January 31, the UK will be the first nation to leave the 28-nation EU, the world’s largest single market area it joined in 1973.

Nothing will instantly change, thanks to a transition period negotiated between London and Brussels to permit either side to agree that a new prospective partnership.

Britons are going to have the ability to operate in and trade freely with EU nations until December 31, and vice versa, although they will no more be represented in the bloc’s associations.

But legally, Britain will be outside.The exit process has been tortuous, together with the years because the 2016 EU referendum indicated by bitter arguments that paralysed the government and forced two prime ministers to quit.

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Four years ago, 52 percent of Britons endorsed Brexit however 48 percent wanted to remain, and the country is still divided between”Leavers” and”Remainers”.

The governmental chaos came to an abrupt halt last month when Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a decisive victory in a general election with a promise to”Get Brexit Done”.

The British parliament this week eventually ratified the exit provisions agreed with Brussels, and Johnson called on the nation to proceed.”

Next Friday marks a significant moment in the history of the United Kingdom,” he explained.” No matter how you voted 2016, it’s the opportunity to look ahead with confidence to the international, trail-blazing country we’ll become over the next decade and heal past divisions.”

The following stage of Brexit will also be a challenge, however. Johnson would like to negotiate Britain’s brand new connection with the EU, covering everything from trade to security collaboration, by the close of the year.

However, Brussels says this is an impossible ask, asserting that London must possibly limit its ambitions or ask more time.

– Muted celebrations –

Johnson has become a passionate supporter of Brexit since leading the 2016 effort, but he’s cautious of inflaming divisions with the celebrations.

Official occasions on Friday is going to be restricted to a special prime ministerial address and a mild screen in Downing Street.

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Ten million commemorative 50 pence coins will also be issued in the coming months, bearing the words”Peace, Prosperity and friendship with all nations”.

Past batches had to be destroyed after Brexit was postponed three times due to political wrangling in London.Some eurosceptics had pressed for parliament’s famed Big Ben bell, which is remodeled, to be brought back into action to ring outside on Brexit nighttime. But it was dropped later concerns about the price. Johnson originally asked for public contributions, just for officials to acknowledge this was not possible.

A countdown clock will rather be projected onto the black bricks of Downing Street, while Nigel Farage, another important figure in the 2016 campaign, will hold a rally in neighboring Parliament Square.

– Divided country –

Britain has always had an uncomfortable relationship with Brussels and refused to join either the EU’s single currency or the Schengen free travel area.

A minority of politicians have campaigned for a long time to free Britain from what they see as a too bureaucratic and unaccountable institution.

Concerns grew as large amounts of EU citizens moved to Britain to work, while for many, Brexit was also a protest against a political institution they felt was dismissing them.

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Yet for others across the continent, Brexit afternoon will be a traumatic minute, finishing any lingering hopes that the break-up could be stopped.”We still love you,” tweeted Donald Tusk, the former president of the European Council, this week following the divorce treaty was officially signed.

A number of the estimated 3.6 million EU citizens living in Britain, and one million Britons elsewhere from the bloc, fear an uncertain future.

The devolved assemblies in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales all rejected the conditions of the divorce, but for various reasons.

In Scotland, where pro-European sentiment remains strong, the nationalist government is pressing for a second referendum on independence.

Many in Northern Ireland meanwhile are worried about particular trading arrangements intended to maintain open its land boundary with EU member Ireland.

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